Some ideas on holding a project while polishing it:
You can bond a strip of rubber or leather to vice grip plyers using
contact cement. It might help if you grind off the teeth of the
jaws. The amount of pressure the jaws of the plyers apply to the
work piece can be adjusted. I put a glove on my left hand so that I
can handle the hot piece when I remove it from the jaws of the
plyers. You can also dunk the piece in water while being held with
the plyers.The plyers may not work on all projects but can help on
I have taken a 6 inch piece of 1x2 wood and tapered one end and cut
a slot through the middle of it. Slide the tapered end into a ring
to hold the ring while polishing it.
The worst part of polishing is removing fire scale, so don't get it.
Use an anti-fire scale flux on all your project before each solder
step. If you cast I will send you a copy of my anti-fire scale
vacuum casting technique. No charge. We have to put an end to that
dreaded fire scale.
You have some neat innovative suggestions there. I recently
purchased a pair of small vice grips from Harbor Freight but have not
yet modified them. I will use them for most other holding jobs
but....I still prefer to hold my buffing jobs by hand.
Meanwhile, re fire sale....the best way to get rid of it is still
not to get it. The liberal use of Prip's or similar anti-firescale
solutions is still the best way...an ounce of prevention you know.
However, if one should get some fire scale/stain....rather than wast
time, polishing materials, and of course, loosing extra metal from
sanding or buffing, here is another way to get rid of it.
Before setting any stones or doing your course polishing, gently
heat the piece (I mean gently....no red) and put it directly into the
pickle (be careful the pickle does not splash onto surrounding items
including yourself). I like the bisodium sulphate pickle but others
probably work as well. Take the piece out, rinse it and then scrub
it with a soft brass brush and soap. Do this three times and all
your firescale/stain should be gone or mostly so.
I recently began requiring all my students go through this cleaning
process because many of them do not have a grasp of how to prevent
scale/stain. This relieves them of a lot of aggreviation and
frustration when they get to the polishing stage.
Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2